With one streak ended, another began.
And another kept going, much to the dismay of Bald Eagle Area.
The Tyrone Golden Eagles, coming off a loss in the regular season for the first time since 2004, decked BEA last night at Gray-Veterans Memorial Field 41-0. It was the Golden Eagles’ 14th consecutive victory over BEA, and like most of the others, it wasn’t close.
Tyrone scored on its first five possessions and piled up its highest single game offensive output, much of it on the legs of senior running back Larry Glace, who carried the ball 22 times for a career-high 169 yards and four touchdowns.
It was 11th straight time Tyrone ran the ball for more than 200 yards against BEA.
“It was the offensive line,” said Glace. “It was hard not to get 10 yards or more (every carry). The holes were wide open.”
That was true from Glace’s first touch – a 21-yard run off left tackle – to his last – a 1-yard run for a touchdown in the third quarter. In all, the Golden Eagles pounded out 263 yards on the ground, with seven different players carrying for positive yardage.
And when they weren’t bludgeoning BEA into submission with their power running game, the Golden Eagles were getting it done through the air. Levi Reihart completed 7-of-12 passes for 140 yards and a second-quarter touchdown pass to Jeremy Barlett, while going without an interception for the fifth straight game.
The Golden Eagles improved to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the MAC Nittany Division. BEA, with its third consecutive loss, fell to 2-3 and 2-2.
“I was concerned with the mental state because of the tough loss last week,” said Tyrone coach John Franco. “We weren’t sure how the coaches were going to react, let alone the players. We thought they were a little weaker (on their left side) and so we kept going back to it. But our guys up front blocked really well.”
Tyrone’s defense was almost as good, after last week surrendering its highest regular season point total since 1998 in its 35-34 loss at Clearfield. The Golden Eagles allowed just 106 yards on the ground – 80 below BEA’s per game average – forced quarterback Derek Noll into two interceptions, and recorded its second shutout of the season.
BEA managed to move the ball successfully on its first two possessions, but neither yielded points. The Eagles were driving the ball on the ground after receiving the opening kick before a fumble by AJ Robinson four plays in was recovered by Matt Murray.
That eventually led to a 9-yard touchdown by Glace to put Tyrone ahead 7-0 with 9:23 left in the first quarter. BEA responded by advancing 48 yards on the ensuing series to the Tyrone 15. But on third-and-nine, Shane Walker got loose and sacked Noll for a 2-yard loss. Noll threw incomplete on fourth down and Tyrone took over.
“Anytime you drive the ball like that and you don’t get points, it gets frustrating for the kids,” said BEA coach Jack Tobias. “When you move the ball down field like that, you have to be able to punch it in.”
With BEA’s offense, which has now been outscored 100-0 over the last three games, limited to working almost exclusively with its running game, getting past the 50-yard line became a problem, let alone punching it in. After its drive inside the Tyrone red zone, Bald Eagle made it back into Tyrone territory only two more times.
“That (stop) was big,” said Franco. “If they tie it up there, you never know. It’s such an emotional game.”
After Glace carried the load of Tyrone’s first drive, carrying three times for 48 yards, the Golden Eagles opened up their offense the next time they got their hands on the ball. Reihart completed a pass to Shaffer, who rumbled 22 yards to the Bald Eagle 34, and then connected with Glace for 12. Glace capped it with a 2-yard run to make it 14-0 with just under a minute left in the first quarter.
The Golden Eagles made it 28-0 by halftime with two more scores in the second. Eric Desch, limited solely to offensive duties after nursing a sprained ankle for a week, jump started Tyrone’s first series of the second quarter with a 54-yard catch-and-run to the BEA 26. Glace then carried three times for 15 yards before Reihart hit Barlett in the right front corner of the end zone for the senior’s first varsity touchdown.
After an Ingle interception, coupled with an unsportsmanlike conduct call against Bald Eagle, placed the ball on the Tyrone 46, Tyrone drove 54 yards on seven plays for their fourth touchdown. Reihart found Desch again for 10 yards, and Glace ripped off runs of 12, 13 and 12 yards, the last one good enough for his third touchdown at the 2:26 mark.
“If you’re running at people, and you’re going right down and right down, it’s demoralizing mentally, and physically, it wears you out,” Franco said.
Tyrone went back to Glace to start the third quarter, but it was a 15-yard pass reception by Ingle on fourth-and-10 that paved the way for the Golden Eagles’ fifth score. Reihart later found Shaffer open over the middle, and 6-foot-2 tight end rambled to the one. Glace scored from there to make it 35-0.
Tyrone’s final score came with its second string in midway through the fourth quarter. Freshman Steve Franco converted on third-and-six when he connected with Derrick Emigh for a 16-yard gain, and Zach Burke broke off a run for 28 yards to the BEA 2. Kyle Ripka scored from one yard out two plays later.
“When you’re running the ball it is a lot easier to pass the ball,” said Tobias. “They had a good balanced attack, we knew that coming in, and they were able to execute their game plan well.”
GRID TIDBITS: Several Tyrone players played only one-way while nursing nagging injuries. Among them were Desch and Mark Mingle, the team’s second-leading rusher, who played only defense, with the exception of one carry … Shaffer delivered a crushing blow to BEA offensive lineman Shane Robinson on Ingle’s interception return in the second quarter … Bald Eagle was flagged three times for unsportsmanlike conduct penalties … Tyrone averaged 6.3 yards per rushing attempt … AJ Robinson led BEA with 73 yards on 12 carries … the Golden Eagles have not lost at home during the regular season since Week 2 of 2003.
Tyrone 41 Bald Eagle Area 0
Tyrone 14 14 7 6 – 41
BEA 0 0 0 0 – 0
T – Glace 9 run (Shaffer kick) 9:23
T – Glace 2 run (Shaffer kick) :52.8
T – Barlett 5 pass from Reihart (Shaffer kick) 7:54
T – Glace 12 run (Shaffer kick) 2:26
T – Glace 1 run (Shaffer kick) 6:17
T – Ripka 1 run (PAT blocked) 5:41
1st Downs 20 8
Yards Rushing 263 106
Pass Att.-Comp. 8-13 2-10
Yards Passing 156 45
Total Offense 419 151
Int. By 2 0
Fum. Rec. 0-0 1-1
Punts-Avg. 1-41 4-33.3
Penalties/Yards 5-45 6-65
TYRONE – Glace 22-169; Burke 4-39; Ripka 6-17; Mingle 1-12; Reihart 2-10; Gault 4-9; Marlett 2-7; Smith 1-0.
BALD EAGLE AREA – Robinson 12-73; Gingrich 8-34; Decker 5-5; Hoffman 2-2; Noll 2-(-8).
TYRONE- Reihart 7-12-140, 1 TD, 0 Int.; Franco 1-1-16, 0 TD, 0 Int.
BALD EAGLE AREA – Noll 2-8-45, 0 TD, 2 Int.; Leskovansky 0-2-0, 0 TD, 0 Int.
TYRONE – Desch 2-64; Shaffer 2-44; Emigh 1-16; Ingle 1-15; Glace 1-12; Barlett 1-5.
BALD EAGLE AREA – Kleczek 2-45.